Director(s) – Don Dohler (The Alien Factor, Blood Massacre) and Dave Geatty
Starring – Tom Griffith (Fiend, Beyond the Wall of Fear), Jamie Zemarel (Grease, Avalon), Karin Kardian (Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness)
Release Date – 1982
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Releasing – 4/5
Tagline – “If you have the guts…it wants them”
I’ve collected Troma movies for well over a decade and there is still movies out there that I have yet to get my hands on. Most are out of print and go for stupid prices online. One of those films is notorious 1982 horror sci-fi flick Nightbeast. The stand alone film goes for well over $80 on dvd. Several yeas ago a documentary about the film was released that actually had the movie as one of the bonus features was released and I was unaware the film was included with the release so I slept on it. Now that release is going for well over $50.
Lucky for me, the folks over at Vinegar Syndrome has released the film on blu. I collect Vin Syn and Troma so I went ahead and ordered this one so I would ensure I got one with the sleeve. As for the film, I should have fired off the $50 years ago because I honestly had fun with this one.
**Spoiler Alert** The movie follows a small town sheriff and officer who encounter a strange beast from outer space that has crash landed in the woods near the city. The beast has razor sharp claws and a ray gun that incinerates anything it hits. The sheriff tries to stop the beast but when his plans fail he is forced to evacuating the town and putting effort into getting the intergalactic weapon from the beast before it destroys everyone in town.**Spoiler Alert**
When you ask the horror community for the best movie that is “so bad it’s good” you often get Troll 2 tossed around by the majority but you do get a few who nominate Nightbeast for that title. Personally, I hate the title “so bad it’s good.” I guess I overthink things but to me that does not make sense. If a movie entertains then it’s entertaining which means it did it’s job. Nightbeast was entertaining and I had a fucking blast watching it.
The acting in this one is awkward at times and amateurish which resulted in many unintentional laughs. Honestly, the cast looks like they are having a great time on set but their performances can easily be compared to the soft-core porn you could find on Skinemax late at night in the late 90s. It’s laughable but not bad.
The story for this one is extremely generic for a sci-fi horror film but the campy and cheese make it enjoyable. An alien monster crash landing on Earth is not something new or innovative but the low budget and amateur acting makes this one a fun watch.
Finally, if you want some blood and gore you will find it here. There is some blood and a few scenes with gore but the showcase here is the bad practical effects and the extremely visual effects. The severed heads and the ray gun blasts were so much fun to watch. Overall, Nightbeast is a movie that is as far from perfect as you can get but I can’t deny the amount of fun I had. I would love to watch this in a theater full of like minded genre fans. I highly suggest grabbing a copy of this on blu now from Vinegar Syndrome.
Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 16mm camera original
Audio commentary with writer/director Don Dohler & actor George Stover
“An Electric Performance” – an interview with actor Jamie Zemarel
“Crashing the Set” – an interview with visual fx artist John Ellis
“Shooting the Nightbeast” – an interview with cinematographer Richard Geiwitz
“Nightbeast Returns” – archival interviews with the cast and crew
Outtakes & Bloopers
Visual FX gallery
Original theatrical trailer
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles